John McGrath - Adding Value To Your Property During COVID-19 | McGrath
John McGrath - Adding Value To Your Property During COVID-19

John McGrath - Adding Value To Your Property During COVID-19

John McGrath
John McGrath
11/05/2020 | 4 MIN READ

Some homeowners have been holding off on selling due to the uncertainty created by Covid-19 and the impact of the ban on opens and on-site auctions, which has now been lifted in several states and territories.

New listings are down in Sydney by -17.8 per cent compared to this time last year, Melbourne -27.1 per cent, Brisbane -32.8 per cent, Canberra -18.5 per cent, Adelaide -37.7 percent, Perth -45.8 per cent, Hobart -38 per cent and Darwin -58.5 per cent. 

This reduction in stock has kept home values stable, with market results for April surprisingly good. 

At a Glance:

  • Reduction in sales listings has kept home values stable
  • Median house prices increased over the month in most capital cities
  • ABS data for February showed a bump in retail spending on hardware, building and gardening supplies
  • Median house prices actually increased over the month in Sydney, Brisbane and Perth (+0.3 per cent), Adelaide (+0.4per cent), Darwin (+1.1 per cent) and Canberra (+0.1 per cent) and fell only slightly in Melbourne (-0.4 per cent) and Hobart (-0.2 per cent), according to CoreLogic figures.  

More people were out and about inspecting homes on Saturday now that opens and on-site auctions are back on. I think the easing of restrictions due to Australia’s phenomenal success in flattening the curve will give confidence to sellers who have delayed their sale up until now.   

If you’re within this group, I recommend you take the extra time you have at home these days to consider what you need to do to prepare your property for sale. 

Great presentation is a key ingredient to maximising your sale price and now is the perfect time for repairs and renovations to get yourself ready to sell when the time feels right for you. 

ABS data for February showed a bump in retail spending on hardware, building and gardening supplies, suggesting many homeowners are already thinking along these lines. 

There are literally hundreds of ways to add value to your property, many of which cost only a small amount of money.  

You can paint it, build a barbecue, put in some paving, hang new curtains, replace the benchtops, steam clean the carpets, modernise the light fittings, replace all the doorknobs…the list goes on and on.  You’re only limited by your imagination. 

If you have a bigger budget and bigger dreams of adding significant value, now is the time to start your planning.  

Do you need an architect to help you re-design or extend an area of your home?

Have you got quotes from builders yet?  

Have you asked an agent how you can add the most value?  

If you’ve got the Spring season in mind for your sale, you’ll kick yourself if you let September roll around without using this extra time at home now to literally get your house in order.  

If you’re taking forced annual leave or your income has declined in 2020, remind yourself that any renovations you do now, if done well, should deliver a financial benefit on sale day.

A better sale price could potentially offset some of your income losses, so use this as motivation to get started.  

If you’ve held your home for a long time, you probably have some new equity you could draw on to fund your renovations, so ask your lender what’s possible. 

Don’t stretch yourself though, particularly if your job isn’t 100% secure.

The full effect of Covid-19 on our economy is yet to show itself, so preserving some savings is very important.  

The easing of restrictions is just around the corner and this will bring some confidence back to the market. I think many buyers will be keen to take advantage of slightly softer prices in many areas. 

For even more tips, you might want to check out the article here.  

Start the work now to give yourself the best chance of a great sale price when you’re ready to sell.  


See you next week. JM


This article originally appeared in The Real Estate Conversation (May 11, 2020)